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Monday, September 30, 2013

Waiting for the sci-fi Fall movies - by Vijaya Schartz


 


This summer we had Oblivion and Elysium. Loved them both, but preferred Elysium.  Will Smith and Jaden Smith did a good job in After Earth. Star Trek, of course lived up to its fabulous fame.  Iron Man 3 was better than the previous two. The Man of Steel didn't shake the earth.  




I didn't bother to go see Pacific Rim. Big machines can be fun, but I'm more interested in deep characters and an intriguing believable plot. Never cared for RIDDICK, darkness, and more darkness, so I passed on that one.  Also passed on GI Joe Retaliation. Will wait until it comes on TV. Don't care for zombies, so didn't bother with WORLD WAR Z. Maybe I'll catch it on cable.



Out this fall is GRAVITY.


A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. (90 mins.)

Director: Alfonso Cuarón


 I'm really looking forward to this one. I love Clooney and Bullock. The trailer looks fantastic. I might even go see it in 3D.


 
Much is expected from:ENDER'S GAME


70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion.

Director: Gavin Hood





   THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE
Releasing November 22,  will be looking for it.

Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.

Director: Francis Lawrence






THOR, THE DARK WORLD



Gorgeous hero of Viking mythology. Yep, I'll be watching for it.

Faced with an enemy that even Odin and Asgard cannot withstand, Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all.

Director: Alan Taylor


More science fiction movies are expected in 2014. And further out, a new Star Trek in 2015 and a new AVATAR in 2016.

And if movies are not enough, you can always read sci-fi novels. Who knows, one day they may end up as movies as well. Find mine on the links below.



Vijaya Schartz

Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick



Monday, September 23, 2013

Finding Balance Between Writing and Life

So, my kids are finally in school--here I am, at the stage in my writing life that I thought would be the promised land. And yet, I'm having a hard time cranking out the words lately.  For one thing, I'm in the middle of a month-long book tour for my new release "Forever is Now."  It's not sci-fi. It's a contemporary M/M rock star romance. Yeah, I like to mix it up.
Forever is Now

But anyway, between blog posts, keeping track of giveaways, planning more than the seat of my pants is comfortable with, and feverishly checking Amazon, Goodreads, and All Romance like a junky in need of a fix, I'm barely getting new words on my WIP.

Add to that the stress of the beginning of a new school year with three kids (all adjusting to the new schedule, all needing teeth pulled to get homework/instrument practice, etc. done), a newly adopted cat who's had  more medical issues than my ninety-year-old grandma, and now a back spasm to end all back spasms, I'm pretty much worthless when I sit down to work.  And when I do have time to write, I feel too burnt-out to be inspired.

It would be great to just put my real life away in a box for later so I could focus on the fictional lives of my characters.  I can't, though, so they end up feeling insignificant and paltry in the face of honest-to-goodness problems.

So, do any other authors have a similar situation? I know that forcing myself to sit down and do it brings back the love for the world I've created. I gets me excited again, and my fingers will be off and running. I know this. But knowing it doesn't always make me do it.

Well, at the moment I'm going to take a walk with my BFF to try to work the kink out of my back and to get those endorphins pumping (and get the latest gossip--hey, when in Rome). Hopefully, by the time I get back the vet will have called to let me know my furry pal is done getting the hematoma in his ear surgically drained, and the eye doctor will have called to tell me my poor half-blind little six year old's glasses are ready so we can go pick them up after school.

I'll just try to get more writing done tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.


Oh, and in case anyone reads M/M, I have a month long contest open on my blog. I'm taking name suggestions for the puppy in my next book.  My favorite name gets used in book two of my Shooting Stars series (called Double Takes). The winner also gets a shout-out in my acknowledgements if desired, an e-copy of Double Takes when it comes out, and a twenty-dollar Amazon gift card. So stop over if you're so inclined, and help me name that dog! Contest ends 10/6/2013.


Thanks for playing! :-)

-Kimber Vale
www.kimbervale.wordpress.com
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Help Me Create The Future



Shades of Pink Charity Anthology

One of my favorite parts of writing and reading sci fi is the freedom it gives us to envision a future. A future we all want is one that is cancer free. But things don't come, we have work for them. I am proud to be a part of this effort to raise money for breast cancer research. Sci fi romance stories as well as fantasy, paranormal and many others included.

As you may know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. For this occasion, 33 authors have allied for 1 cause: fundraising for research. Their gift to everyone who makes a donation? A romance anthology (ebook) titled Shades of Pink, totaling over 200.000 words / about 500 pages as a PDF.
The suggested donation is $5. Funds are raised via Stayclassy.org and all proceeds go directly to the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Readers can also donate to the charity organization of their choice (with a focus on breast cancer) and email their receipt to receive their copy of the anthology in either PDF, ePub or mobi (kindle).

Who: Kate Baum, Brei Betzold, Jean Booth, Catherine Bowman, Perci T. Brooks, Rose Caraway, Bethan Cooper, Sarah Daltry, Vivien Dean, JJ Ellis, Rachel Firasek, Sabrina Garie, Amber Green, T. Hammond, Lisa M. Harley, Susan Harris, K. R. Haynes, Ellie Heller, Laura Hunsaker, Jennifer James, Torie James, Kallysten, K.A. Linde, C. Deanne Rowe, DJ Shaw, Madeline Sheehan, Eden Summers, Gill Taber, J Annas Walker, Matthew Welch, Kristin L. Wilson, Zoe York, Angela Yseult

When: October through November 15th.  Preorders start on September 15, 2013.

What: 33 short stories, including…
  • 30 M/F, 1.5 M/M, 1.5 M/F/M
  • 4 paranormal, 2 sci-fi, 19 contemporary, 3 historical, 1 BDSM, 9 fantasy, 3 YA (some stories have more than one genre)
  • 4 spicy (ménage or kink), 15 sexy (explicit sex scenes), 14 sweet (no sex)
  • A handful of vampires, about four dozen humans including fighters, cursed humans, reincarnated souls, footballers, time travelers, bosses, secretaries, writers, rock stars, teens, witches, soldiers, wives, husbands and fiancés, 1 succubus, 1 genie, 1 extra-terrestrial princess, a few gods and goddesses, a pack of werewolves.
  • Pink, pink and more pink, including cherry blossoms, jewelry,  flamingoes, silk, a leather collar, assorted flowers, hair, a car, lip gloss, champagne, a hair ribbon, a hippo, various clothing items, lemonade and a toy.
Where: Kallysten’s blog

Here you’ll find teasers for all the stories, interviews of the authors posted during all of October, and of course the link where you can donate and help this worthy cause.
Monday, September 16, 2013

Hello and Goodbye

It's been fun the past few months to stop by a new group of readers and share my thoughts on my favorite genre. Unfortunately, work and life are becoming dangerously over-booked (I'm exhausted and constantly on the verge of some sort of cold) so I need to let go of those commitments I can. While I enjoy blogging, I need to dedicate my limited writing time to finishing stories my readers have been requesting.

If you'd like to keep up with my progress, I'll still be maintaining my regular schedule at my author blog and I'll drop by Twitter on a fairly regular basis. I'm trying to cut down on online distractions in general since my work schedule has ballooned past 60 hours and my husband and my Huskies take priority over my online life in this new reality.

My last bit of happiness has to do with the news from Readers' Favorite that my first novel earned a 5-star review. With the perspective of 2 additional novels under my belt, I've been doubting my debut, so it was nice validation--and an additional nudge to re-focus on my fiction writing.

Thanks for letting me join your community for a while, and I look forward to catching up with my new author friends when work settles down again.
Friday, September 13, 2013

New Release: BOREALIS IX: AKIRA'S CHOICE - by Vijaya Schartz

BOREALIS IX
AKIRA'S CHOICE
by Vijaya Schartz
Released September 1, 2013
from Desert Breeze Publishing
eBook Novella - $1.99

When bounty hunter Akira Karyudo accepted her assignment, something didn't add up. Why would the TPP want a kidnapped orphan dead or alive? She will get to the truth once she finds the boy, and the no good SOB who snatched him from a psychiatric hospital. With her cheetah, Freckles, a genetically enhanced feline retriever, Akira sets out to flush them out of the bowels of the BOREALIS space station. But when she finds her fugitives, the kidnapper is not what she expects.
Markku, a decorated rebel soldier, stole his nephew from the authorities, who performed painful experiments on the boy. Stuck on Borealis, he protects the child, but how can he shield him from the horribly dangerous conditions in the lawless sublevels of the decrepit space station? Akira faces the worst moral dilemma of her career. Law or justice, duty or love. She can't have it both ways.

Excerpts are posted on the Amazon page and on the ARE page.

HAPPY READING!

Vijaya Schartz
Blasters, Swords, Romance with a Kick
Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A KITTEN FOR CHRISTMAS



I know September is a bit early to be thinking about Christmas. Usually it's seeing the leaves changing color, the air turning crisp, visiting pumpkin patches, fall festivals, and corn mazes or the first snow fall that triggers my urge to decorate for the Holidays. Not to mention the store displays and carols. But now that I'm living down in Florida, I figured the only way I was going to get into the Christmas spirit was to write a story set at Christmas time. So I did.

I'm happy to announce the release of my short Christmas romance.
A KITTEN FOR CHRISTMAS.
Available now on Amazon and Smashwords.
http://www.amazon.com/Kitten-Christmas-Holiday-Council-ebook/dp/B00F3JI56O

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/356252

Two Christmases ago when Dani Martin lost her parents and fiance in a car accident she gave up on love. Jackson Connor has finally realized his dream of owning a farm when he's presented with the result of a one-night stand he had years ago - a son.

On Christmas Eve, a snow storm, a little boy, and a kitten bring together two lonely, damaged people.
Friday, September 6, 2013

The new Fall TV Series

September is here! Besides the scent of new crayons and paper, the networks are rolling out new tv shows. For once I'm pretty excited about the possiblities.

First up The 100 on CW

Apparently we nuked ourselves and a century later we sent a bunch of juvenile delinquents into the hot zones to see if they can colonize the planet again. While I like the concept, I find teenagers rather trying (maybe because I recently had 3 at home), plus how are they going to know how to do anything? Still, I'm gonna watch 3 episodes and hope for the best.

The Tomorrow People on CW

From the British series around a group of young people who have evolved with special powers. Too much like X-men without Gambit and the British tend to have a better version of the show than the US.

Withces of East End on Lifetime.

Witches in modern day Long Island, lots of money and NY accents. Pass.

Almost Human on Fox

Android and cop partner in future LAPD. I think I've reached my limit on cop shows and even a robot isn't enough to break it.

Believe on NBC

A little girl with unnamed powers is protected by an excon. I'm not sure how paranormal this is going to get so I think I check the boards and see if it is worth my time.

Dracula on NBC

He's back, just not in our time. Dracula is in Victorian London and out for revenge. It does have the ever hot Jonathan Rhys Meyers but I'm vampired out. Still... maybe I'll give into temptation and watch one or two episodes:D

Intelligence on CBS

Government agent with a computer chip in his head that allows him to command the electromagnetic spectrum. A little X-men meets... X-files would be good, but I think the cases will be a little to standard. This is a wait and see for me.

Marvel's Agents S.H.I.E.L.D on ABC

Don't think I need to explain this but I'll definitely be watching.

Once Upon a Time in Wonderland on ABC

Alice is back carrying a load of baggage. Yep, I'm gonna watch this to see what they do with the story.

The Originals on the CW

Apparently a spin-off of the vampire diaries. Not gonna watch any more vamps.

Resurrection on ABC

Dead people come back but not as zombies. Interesting concept.

Sleepy Hollow on Fox

This is my favorite story of all time. Of course, I'm gonna watch.

Ctar-Crossed  on the CW
Aliens in High school. Is there any other kind?


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Sexual Tension in Movies

I'm taking a class on sexual tension.  One of the movies I thought of, actually three of the movies I thought of, were StarWars, IV, V and VI.  What I refer to as the original Star Wars movies.

The sexual tension between Hans Solo and Princess Leia is intense.  She's a royal princess, meant to rule.  He's the scoundrel bounty hunter, interested in only himself.  She's strong, virtuous.  He's strong, but not interested in any sort of virtue.

One of the other ones is Dirty Dancing.  There are so many no no's for societal mores of the day, that I can't begin to name them.  The eye contact, hand to hand, hand to body and body to body contact between them is hotter than hot.  And that's before they ever go to bed.

What are your favorite movies for sexual tension?  Are they fantasy and sci fi or more traditional?
Monday, September 2, 2013

NEW RELEASE: BOREALIS IX - AKIRA'S CHOICE - Vijaya Schartz

AKIRA'S CHOICE
Borealis IX
by Vijaya Schartz
kindle:
Nook:
 
AKIRA'S CHOICE, the 9th novella in the Borealis futuristic series, is out.  It's a sweet futuristic romance full of action and adventure, set on the Borealis Space station. If you like kick-butt heroines, this one is a Samurai bounty hunter with a cheetah. As for the hero, he is a gorgeous rebel with a heart.

When bounty hunter Akira Karyudo accepted her assignment, something didn't add up. Why would the TPP want a kidnapped orphan dead or alive?

She will get to the truth once she finds the boy, and the no good SOB who snatched him from a psychiatric hospital. With her cheetah, Freckles, a genetically enhanced feline retriever, Akira sets out to flush them out of the bowels of the BOREALIS space station. But when she finds her fugitives, the kidnapper is not what she expects.

Markku, a decorated rebel soldier, stole his nephew from the authorities, who performed painful experiments on the boy. Stuck on Borealis, he protects the child, but how can he shield him from the horribly dangerous conditions in the lawless sublevels of the decrepit space station?

Akira faces the worst moral dilemma of her career. Law or justice, duty or love. She can't have it both ways.

EXCERPT:

Two thugs stalked away to follow the cheetah.
"Go after that cat and you're dead!" The strong baritone voice came from a tall man aiming a blaster at the two hoodlums.
He stepped out of the shadows, in full paramilitary gear. His left hand held a long knife. He sidled toward Akira, circling the thugs, who started to retreat at the sight of his blaster.
"Mind your own business." Akira didn't appreciate unwanted help.
The man stepped closer. "These goons know nothing about civilized rules of fighting. They want your body, your hide, your cat for its meat, and your armor and weapons."
"I know that." Who did this man think she was? A neophyte? "There is no honor in killing defenseless creatures."
"There is no honor in this place." His gaze skimmed the sorry lot holding an assortment of blades and clubs, some with protruding metal spikes. "Believe me, they are far from defenseless."
The thugs kept their distance from the blaster aimed at them, but they did not retreat.
"Still. I refuse to kill if there is another way." None of those rejects would threaten her individually, but their number could present a challenge. As more joined the group, she counted two dozen.
The louts glanced at one another with indecision. At least, they understood the warning. She was trained and dangerous. Not to be trifled with. They widened their half circle in front of her, still hesitating, but they held their ground. Chikusho.
In a few long steps, the stranger joined her side. From his walk and the way he held his weapons, she could tell he had military training. He didn't look like a TPP soldier, though. Something wild lurked in his clear blue gaze. A free thinker. A bounty hunter like her? Or perhaps a rebel?
"You look like you could use some help."
"Do I?" Unbelievable. "Why should I trust you?" She couldn't help the derision in her voice. "For all I know, you could be their leader, luring me into a trap."
He chuckled and shook his head. "I'm not one of them, and you are in more trouble than you know."
"Get out of my way." Akira clicked open the metal claws of her forearm braces then unsheathed a titanium short sword and adopted a defensive stance. "I work alone."
He laughed. "And I'm telling you, this is no place for a warrior from a distant past. Especially, one who cares about something as futile as honor."

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